Sunday, June 10, 2018

Our Culture's Suicide Epidemic

From Matt Walsh:
We have seen this process play out this week. It's the same thing that happens every time a famous person commits suicide. We set out immediately to almost defend the act, and to ensure that nobody says anything negative about it. We insist that suicide is nothing but the result of a "mental illness." A depressed person dies of suicide in the same way that a person may die of breast cancer. We deliver tearful, admiring eulogies to the deceased celebrity and express our hope that they have "found peace."

And what good does any of this do? How are we helping a suicidal person by explicitly suggesting that suicide is a means to peace? How are we helping him by telling him that he has no choice, that his depression may just up and kill him one day, totally against his will? What service do we provide by telling him that he has no power, no alternative, no free will? And then we are shocked when the next person does it. And the next. And the next. And each time we react the same way, saying the same things, and we think that we are helping as long as we also pass out the suicide prevention hotline.

It is good to give out the suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255). It is good to encourage people to get help, talk to someone, reach out. We get that part right. But we go dangerously off course with everything else. And the crisis only worsens because we refuse to trace it all the way down to its roots. We stop at the brain, at chemical reactions and psychological disorders, but we never pause to ask why all of our brains have apparently gone haywire in modern times. If this is all just a matter of mental disorders, why in the hell are these "mental disorders" so common now?

I think it is because the disorder is not purely psychological. It goes beyond our brains and into our souls, into the emptiness. What everyone really craves deep in their bones is truth and meaning. Not meaning they arbitrarily assign, but meaning that is objective and inherent and beyond our ability to remove or change. But our culture tells us that nothing of the sort exists — there is only this physical world, and our egos, and whatever we decide to make of it all. And if we make nothing of it, and find nothing in it, then life is nothing and there is no reason to carry on living anymore. (Read more.)

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